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Norwegians weighing options for whale allegedly used as Russian spy: report

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A beluga whale suspected of being used for Russian spying is refusing to leave the Norwegian port where it was discovered, according to The Washington Post.

Jorgen Ree Wiig of the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries said the whale, which was found with what is believed to be Russian technology, only appeared to have moved 25 miles within the past week and is friendlier with humans than is typical of a beluga, the Post reported, including allowing locals to pet its nose.

{mosads}Norwegian officials are reportedly unsure of what to do with the unnamed whale, although Wiig said transporting it to a sanctuary in Iceland about 1,250 miles away might improve its odds of survival.

The whale was first sighted last week by fishermen who noticed it near their boats wearing an unfamiliar harness with the inscription “Equipment St. Petersburg.”  

The USSR trained dolphins to detect weapons in the 1980s, but that program was reportedly discontinued. In 2017, the Russian defense ministry revealed the country’s navy had been training marine mammals for possible military operations in polar waters.

“If this whale comes from Russia — and there is great reason to believe it — then it is not Russian scientists, but rather the navy that has done this,” Martin Biuw, of the Institute of Marine Research in Norway, told The Guardian on Monday.


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